Mary A. Aldham(active 1910s), Suffragette
Sitter in 1 portrait
The Suffragette Mary Wood, an alias of Mary Aldham, attacked John Sargent's portrait of novelist Henry James whilst on display at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in 1914. Mary slashed the canvas three times with a meat cleaver while crying 'Votes for Women'. The attack was a response to the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst. In defense of her actions, Wood wrote that 'I have tried to destroy a valuable picture because I wish to show the public that they have no security for their property nor for their art treasures until women are given the political freedom'. Similar attacks on paintings were to follow, although this militant tactic was to subside with the outbreak of the First World War.